On April 8 2013 the Home Office published a statement of intent outlining planned changes to requirements for those applying to settle in the United Kingdom or become naturalised UK citizens. From October 28 2013 applicants in both categories will be required to pass the Life in the UK Test and hold a B1-level (intermediate) English language speaking and listening qualification. This will replace the current system, which requires applicants either to sit the Life in the UK Test or to show language progression from one English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) level to the next, but not both. A range of English language qualifications will be accepted as evidence that an applicant has met the B1-level speaking and listening requirements.
Those who apply for settlement under the pre-October 2013 rules can settle under those rules, but if they naturalise after October 2013 they will have to qualify under the new rules at that stage (they will not have to retake the Life in the UK Test, but will have to complete new language tests).
For further information on this topic please contact Ilda De Sousa at Kingsley Napley by telephone (+44 20 7814 1200), fax (+44 20 7490 2288) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Kingsley Napley website can be accessed at www.kingsleynapley.co.uk.